We should not only wait for the Independence Day or the Republic Day to feel proud to be a part of this country. Not many of us are aware about all that this country has given to the world. While most of us are familiar with Indian inventions of Yoga, Ayurveda and Kabaddi, there is a plethora of other such inventions that are widely being used by the entire world but remain unappreciated by most of us. From some of the smallest of inventions which lead to the most massive things, to huge ones which are useful in our daily lives, India has given this world a lot to be thankful for.

Let’s take a look at some inventions which India has given to the world:

1. Zero

As the famous Manoj Kumar song goes ‘Jab zero diya mere Bharat ne, duniya ko tab ginti ayi’, it is the foremost thing to be proud of as an Indian. The zero brought all the other systems of this world into existence. From simple calculations to rocket science, it provides the base for it all. As per the historical evidence, Indians were the first to use zero as a symbol and in arithmetic operations. The main person behind this invention was Aryabhat as he gave the zero a symbol and a name in around 500 AD.

Invention of Zero in India

2. Shampoo

Yes, you read that right. So the word shampoo is derived from the Hindi word ‘champo’ which was further derived from the Sanskrit word ‘chapayati’ and dates back to 1762 during the colonial era.

Sahampoo was invented in India

3. Buttons

The credit for this goes to the Indus Valley Civilization as the earliest button found is around 5000 years old and made out of a curved shell. However, during those times, it was mainly used as an ornament rather than being used for fastening purposes.

Buttons were invented by Indian

4. Chess

Initially known as Chaturanga, this game originated in India during the Gupta dynasty.

Chess was invented by

5. Scale/ ruler/ weighing scale

The invention of rulers and scales dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization prior to 1500 BCE. They were made from ivory back then. The use of weighing scales dates back to 2400 BC-1800 BC, also found during the Indus Valley Civilization.

Scale ruler weighing scale Invention

6. Snakes and Ladders

This game originated in India and made its way to England during the British rule of India and to USA by 1943.

Snakes and Ladders was invented in India

7. Suits game

Now played with playing cards made from paper/plastic, this game originated in India and was played with painted rags.

Suits card game Invention

8. Cataract surgery

Indian physician Sushruta introduced the cataract surgery by using a special tool made of a curved needle in the 3rd centure CE. The needle was used to loosen the lens and push the cataract out of the field of vision, after which the eye was soaked with warm butter and bandaged.


9. Plastic surgery

The credit to plastic surgery also goes to ancient Indian physician Sushruta and dates back to 2000 BCE.

Sushruta Father of Plastic Surgery

10. Flush/ Squat Toilets

The modern-day flush and toilets were introduced in India way back in 3rd millennium BC and were found in several houses of the Mohenjodaro and Harappa. They were basically toilet platforms made above the drains in the proximity of wells.

First Flush Toilet were used in the Indus Valley Civilization

11. Natural fibers’ cultivation

Natural fibers like jute, cotton and wool owe their current existence to India, and to be precise, the Indus Valley Civilization during the 5th millennium BCE to 4th Millennium BCE.

Things invented by Indians

12. Sugar refinement

Although sugar originated from other parts of the world, production of crystallised sugar from sugarcane started in India during the time of Imperial Guptas around 647 CE.

First Sugar cane refinery
My Malice and Bias

13. Decimal system and place value system

The decimal and place value system was developed in India between the 1st and 6th centuries CE.

Decimal system and place value system originated from India

14. Diamond mining

According to sources, diamonds were first mined in India around 5000 years ago when alluvial deposits of the stone were found along the banks of rivers Penner, Krishna and Godavari. Until the 18th century when diamonds were discovered in Brazil too, India remained the only source of diamonds in the world.

Diamond mining was invented in India

15. Water on moon

Very few of us know that the first evidence, although inconvertible, was provided by the payload Chace carried by the Moon Impact Probe released by Chandrayan.

Indian lunar mission found water on moon

16. Earth’s orbit

Also called the sidereal year, it was first explained in Surya Siddhanta around 600 CE and gave the average length of the sidereal year as 365.25 days.

Surya Siddhanta - Inventions by Indians
Ancient Origins

17. First medical encyclopaedia

Sushruta Samhita, a text prepared by the Indian physician Sushruta, was the first ever medical encyclopaedia containing the foundation texts of Ayurveda and describing surgical training, instruments and procedures. Although, some medical texts relating to the cure for leprosy also date back to the Atharva Ved around 1500-2000 BCE, either way, it is still a win-win situation!

Sushruta Samhita - First medical encyclopaedia
Live History India

18. Ink

The use of ink in writing was discovered in India around the 3rd millennia BCE, by mixing several chemical components with the carbon black that is produced by burning bones, tar, pitch and other substances.

Invention of Ink

19. Steel and metal works

High quality of steel was produced in India around 300 – 200 BC by mixing high purity wrought iron, charcoal and glass and heating it until the iron absorbed the carbon.

Steel and metal works was invented in India

20. Crescograph

A Cresco graph is a device that is used for measuring growth in plants and its discovery dates back to early 20th century by Sir Dr. Jagadish Chandra Bose.

Crescograph inventor Jagadish Chandra Bose

21. Computer programming languages

Many programming languages such as J Sharp and Kojo are a product of Indian inventors.

Famous Indian inventions

22. Binary Code

The discovery of binary numbers dates back to 200 BC by Pingala, the author of Chandahsasts which was the earliest known Sanskrit treatise on prosody.

Binary Code was invented in India - Pingala

23. Microwave communication

The technology used in radios, mobile telephony, radars, satellite communication, television broadcast, WIFI, remote controls and many other devices, owes its existence to the discovery made by Jagdish Chandra Bose in 1895.

Jagadish Chandra Bose - Father of wireless communication

24. Fibonacci numbers

Although started by the earlier writings of Pingala, the author of Chandahsasts, the Fibonacci numbers were properly discovered by Virahanka, Gopala and Hemahandra from C 700-1150 AD.

Fibonacci number discovered by Virahanka, Gopala and Hemahandra

25. Pi and Pythagorean Theorem

These two things were explained by Indian mathematician Budhayana in the 6th century long before the European mathematician worked on them and took credit for the same.

Pi and Pythagorean Theorem discovered by Budhayana
Whats What

26. Trigonometry

The trigonometric sine, cosine and arctangent was the discovery of Madhava of Sangamagrama and his Kerala School of Mathematics in between C. 1340-1425.

Madhava of Sangamagrama discovered Trigonometry

27. Rhinoplasty

The nasal reconstruction using a paramedian forehead flap was first carried out by the Indian physician Sushruta.

Rhinoplasty discovery Sushruta

Phew! That is some list!! … but not all! These are just a few of the known, and ironically, lesser-known inventions that were made by India and adopted by the whole world. While we are busy making use of these inventions, we hardly bother to known about their history and relation to India. We have given you enough reasons to be proud of your country today. Leaving politics aside, these inventions surely make us feel good about India and its rich history.